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Full text of "NightRider"

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" I'm going to fix you if you don't stop tickling my ear," he
had answered. Then she had set her teeth, not gently, in the
lobe of his ear. " Damn it, Sukie," he had said, and holding
her hair twisted in his hand so that she could not lift her
head from the pillow, had kissed her on the mouth.

But the hinges worked silently now, not like that first time.
The door would swing gently, carefully, open, and she would
slip into the room, and stand with one finger to her lips in
mock warning while she pushed the door shut and lowered
the latch into place. Sometimes, when there was no moon, it
would be so dark that he could scarcely make out her
shadowy form there against the white blur of the door, but
he would know exactly how she would be, standing there, and
would smile answeringly as though she could see his face.
When the door was latched, she would move quickly across
the room toward him, her kimono fluttering with her motion.
She would shiver with the chill, for there was rarely a fire in
the room, or would pretend to shiver, and standing by the
bed to pull off the kimono, would say, " Get over, I want the
warm place, I'm freezing to death." Then she would pull the
covers about her, and shiver, and pretend that her teeth were
chattering, and thrust her cold feet against his.

" Take them off," he would whisper.

" I will not"—and her teeth would chatter. " I freeze to
death coming inch by inch down that hall—I almost catch
pneumonia—all on account of your baser nature—and you
won't even warm my feet—you dog-----"

" You've got a baser nature, yourself."

" No—no "—chatteringly—" not—right—now."

Now she would shut the door and run quickly to the bed,
her kimono fluttering, but the first time, having forestalled
his half-awake exclamation by her lifted hand and having
closed the door upon its creaking hinges, she had moved,
almost with an air of deliberation, toward him, and had
leaned over and taken his head between her hands and had
kissed him. That had been the first time they had ever
kissed. Then, standing there by the bed, in the frosty air, she